The Thoughtful Dresser

The Art of Adornment, the Pleasures of Shopping, and Why Clothes Matter

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“You can’t have depths without surfaces,” says Linda Grant in her lively and provocative new book, The thoughtful Dresser, a thinking woman’s guide to what we wear. For centuries, an interest in clothes has been dismissed as the trivial pursuit of vain, empty-headed women. Yet, clothes matter, whether you are interested in fashion or not, because how we choose to dress defines who we are. How we look and what we wear tells a story. Some stories are simple, like the teenager trying to fit in, or the woman turning fifty renouncing invisibility. Some are profound, like that of the immigrant who arrives in a new country and works to blend in by changing the way she dresses, or of the woman whose hat saved her life in Nazi Germany.

The Thoughtful Dresser
celebrates the pleasure of adornment and is an elegant meditation on our relationship with what we wear and the significance of clothes as the most intimate but also public expressions of our identity.
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Book Details:
  • Scribner | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439171646 | 
  • April 2010
List Price $13.99

Read an Excerpt

IN WHICH A WOMAN BUYS A PAIR OF SHOES

Dress has never been at all a straightforward business: so much subterranean interest and complex feeling attaches to it. As a topic, it is popular because it is dangerous—it has a flowery head but deep roots in the passions. On the subject of dress almost no one, for one or another reason, feels truly indifferent: if their own clothes do not concern them, somebody else’s do. ELIZABETH BOWEN

TWELVE YEARS AGO I saw a red high-heeled shoe from an earlier era. Glorious, scarlet, insouciant, it blazed away amid the rubber soles and strong cotton shoelaces as if to say,... see more

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